NC Senate votes unanimously for closure of coal-ash pits

June 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The state Senate voted 45-0 on the second reading of a bill that would force Duke Energy to close all of its coal-ash ponds. The legislation, which will require a third Senate vote on Wednesday, requires Duke to move ash from four power plants to lined landfills and close all 33 of its ash ponds in the state within 15 years. 

Gov. McCrory prepares for budget impasse

June 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory is making plans for a potential budget impasse if the N.C. House and Senate can not agree on a revised state budget by July 1. If an amended budget is not approved, teachers and state employees will not receive pay raises. The governor said the biggest issues yet to be resolved include Medicaid cuts, Medicaid cost forecasts and education spending.

FDA extends public comment period on e-cigarettes

June 23, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Food and Drug Administration extended the public comment period for feedback on how it should regulate electronic cigarettes until Aug. 8. The agency released a proposal in May that would extend its regulatory authority to e-cigarettes. The proposal recommends banning sales of e-cigarettes to youth and requiring health-warning labels on the products.

House, Senate disagree over Common Core replacement

June 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An N.C. House committee rejected the state Senate's bill to replace Common Core curriculum in public schools. The Senate plan would allow the state to keep some current Common Core standards, but a stricter House plan wants to prohibit the use of any provisions from the Common Core model.

AG Cooper says Duke should pay for coal-ash removal

June 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper told the state Senate that Duke Energy should pay for coal-ash cleanup at 33 sites across North Carolina rather than passing along costs to its customers. Charlotte-based Duke Energy has said it could cost up to $10 billion to move the coal ash to lined landfills.

Charlotte airport bill moves through NC House

June 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The N.C. House approved a bill that directs the city of Charlotte allow an independent commission run Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The bill has been criticized opponents as a "sneak attack" to steal the airport from the city.

NC Senate introduces bill for coal-ash cleanup

June 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State Senate leaders introduced a bill Monday that would require closing all 33 unlined coal-ash ponds in the state within 15 years. Duke Energy called the plan "aggressive" and said it would present significant challenges for the Charlotte-based company, including finding a place to store the ash.

New subpoena issued in coal-ash investigation

June 16, 2014

(Hickory Record)

A grand jury subpoena was issued Friday that directs the North Carolina Utilities Commission to provide more records regarding ash ponds at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Station. The subpoena is part of an ongoing federal investigation that began after February's coal-ash spill at the plant. 

Fracking legislation attracts interest of energy companies

June 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The chairman of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission said three energy exploration companies have called him since the state General Assembly passed a bill to allow fracking in the state next year. Other companies are renewing leases in areas where there may be high concentrations of shale gas.

NC House gives initial approval to budget that includes 5% teacher pay raise

June 13, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The N.C. House gave preliminary approval late Thursday to a $21.1 billion budget proposal that includes an average 5% salary increase for teachers. The money for the pay raises would come from increased lottery profits.